Swanica explores Japan

Monday, July 10, 2006

Matsuzaki Ken is born in 1950 in Tokyo and graduated from the Fine Arts Ceramics Department at Tamegawa University in 1972. Directly after that, he apprenticed for five years with Shimaoka Tatsuzo. He established his own kiln, "YuShin (Playful Spirit)" in 1978.

Matsuzaki is challenging his craft with new forms and styles and won't become complacent about his work whatsoever. That always makes his work refreshing. He doesn't rehash his succesful styles over and over again. You can say for him that for any true artist the discovery of what lies within is as important as what is created. So, he has been busy creating, changing, daring, and stumbling and ultimately standing proud next to his wide range of works.
His homepage shows dozens of pieces: www.yuushin-gama.com and dare to brows. It is only Japanese.

We had a wonderful time visiting with him and his wife. We saw his special anagama kiln, which he can stoke from two sides.

Two stoke sided
Anagama(one chamber).

Two years ago, he built a new noborigama for his gold and purple "Shino", special whitish glaze. He showed us his workshop

Matsuzaki Ken with
some of his glazed

and showroom, where we had some nice cold green tea, because, it was very muggy and hot. Mike and David again helped a lot with translating the Japanese.
They also talk some English. Hank knew him from the Pucker Gallery in Boston, where he had an exposition. He has some beautiful wood fired pieces and gold shino bowls. He also gave us a catalogue and on our way out even a small "Guinomo" (cup). Beautiful!


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